Beware of Toner Pirates!

What is a Toner Pirate?

Toner Pirates are scam artists who call businesses and trick them into buying toner supplies. They will often have information about your copier, or gather this information through tactics such as offering to send you updated manuals if you give them the model number. A toner pirate will mislead you into thinking they are a local copier company by using a local business name, even ours!  The scammers will offer discount toner, or claim that the price is going to increase so they encourage you to stock up now. In actuality Toner Pirates will charge you up to 10 times the normal price for your toner! They will also target people in your business who don’t order supplies or who aren’t familiar with the office equipment.

How to Recognize a Toner Pirate:

  • High pressure sales tactics
  • Use phrases such as: "Beat the price increase", "Last remaining in stock" or "Offer expiring today."
  • No way to contact them back
  • Asking for information on your copier, such as the model number
  • Processing or handling fee
  • No company information to go through mail, only UPS or hand delivery
  • No references

Tips to Avoid Toner Pirates:

  • Train your staff – make them aware of this scam
  • Designate one person to handle office supply purchases
  • Ask for the caller’s contact information – they almost always hang up
  • Call your regular supplier to verify the story
  • In writing, dispute the bill – keep a copy for documentation
  • Refuse the shipment when it arrives – do not accept the package

If a Toner Pirate has contacted you, please call the Better Business Bureau with any information that you have received. 

Remember, to be an informed consumer.